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Singing Wires

by Unknown

Published ca. 1951


Sings the praises of rural electrification. Story of a farm family whose work and play are transformed when their place is hooked up to the grid.


Run time 22:23
Producer Unknown
Sponsor Farm Journal, Inc.
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


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Reviews

Reviewer: JSBejma - - December 21, 2014
Subject: Pretty Darned Backwards For 1951
Not a single shot of the outhouse with the corn cob hanging from a string. (Incidently, after letrizzity install, Pa insisted no indoor shithouse until those 43 bags of unused corncobs were used up).

Stupid kid instead of friggin' with that motor, he shoulda just knocked up Judy forcing a shotgun wedding (she's their only kid) and BINGO! the dope would get their electrified farm (and a place to take a bath).
Reviewer: donwert - - January 12, 2013
Subject: Imagine! Electricity!
What's remarkable about this film is that as late as the early '50s, when this film was made, there were so many farms without electricity that this film was thought to be necessary. When WWII started, most farms were not electrified. It wasn't until the late '50s that the great majority of farms were hooked to the grid. BTW, the major impetus behind rural electrification in the U.S. was a New Deal program and the creation of the Rural Electrification Administration. Private electric utilities had not found it economically feasible to build the infrastructure required to service sparsely-settled farm regions.
The REA, through direct programs such as the TVA and indirect programs such as low-interest loan programs, made it possible to electrify the countryside. As the goal was achieved, the REA was phased out of existence. Think of that the next time some some free-market absolutist starts spouting off.
Reviewer: Seto-Kaiba_Is_Stupid - - April 20, 2009
Subject: Wonderful Footage
This film is very useful for stock footage on the early 1950's.

I disagree with a previous review, the fifties kitschen here looks quite nice. The previous kitchen may look "warm", but resulting in limited food options. The early 1950's kitchen allowed meals like Jell-O and cakes to be made more often.

Which is the general appeal of the film, showing how electricity was indeed making life easier.
Reviewer: doowopbob - - April 20, 2009
Subject: How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em.....
Down On The Farm....?....Well Farmers Now Are Getting Evicted Everyday....Things Were SO Much Better Then....Neighbor Helping Neighbor....Now We Don't Wanna Know Our Neighbors....They Might Shoot You When Foreclosure Comes...THANKS GEORGE!...YA MORON....!
Reviewer: Marysz - - April 2, 2006
Subject: One Family's Story of Rural Electrification
Bob, a teen-age boy, convinces his father to bring electricity to their family farm. As late as 1951, when this film was made, there were still farms with no electricity. Bobs farm gives us a valuable look at how farm families lived before electricity. Bobs family pumps water by hand and lights the house and barns with kerosene lamps (a real fire hazard). In contrast, Bobs girlfriend Judys farm is fully electrified. Bob makes up a three year plan to electrify the farm and shows it to his dad. The thought of electrifying the farm never seems to have occurred to the father or mother, despite their lives of backbreaking labor. These are two people stuck in their ways. In the end, we see the farm electrified. Its been given a complete makeoverunfortunately, the old kitchen, which looked warm and inviting with its wood-burning stove, is now a sterile 50s kitchen with bland steel cabinets. But it does have an electric stove and running water. There are fluorescent lights in the barn. Bobs exhausted parents have been transformed. Bobs mom no longer wears the kerchief which hinted at the familys Russian or middle European origin. She has time to spruce herself up. Bobs father finishes his chores in time to put on a jacket and tie. Judy comes over to help Mom with dinner (you can be sure she wouldnt have done that before electricity). This film evokes a now-gone rural America that sustained small family farms like Bob and Judys. They lead lives of modest prospectsa trip to the county fair for the 4-H club poultry competition, Judys birthday party, where the teenagers sing along to a 78 rpm record, and a car ride to the tiny movie theatre in town seem to be the extent of their expectations. This film has an imaginatively composed musical score by Emil Velazco. The fact that we only hear only Bob telling the story (instead of the usual ponderous narrator), helps draw us into this sensitively done piece of Americana.
Reviewer: cover it with asphalt - - January 7, 2006
Subject: This was a HUGE change for rural usa
Darn right, many rural areas did not have electricity well into the early 1960s and beyond. The REA (later REC) truly changed lives. My paternal grandparents, who were considered prosperous, (they actually had indoor plumbing in the '30s!) installed a DELCO generator system in the mid 1930s, since there was still no public electric grid in their area at the time. My maternal grandparents finally were able to on the grid in the 1940s. I'm showing this to my kids as yet another one of my cranky "don't take everything for granted" lessons.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - June 5, 2005
Subject: "Hey, let's get some electricity!"
Bob and his family wishes that his farm would get electricity just like his girlfriend's family does. Now, when I mention this, you would think this could happen, oh about 1912 right? But no, according to this film, and for some odd reason, this was a large pill to swallow, that some farms didn't have electricity in 1951! This is, believe it or not, very similar to some Jam Handy films on here, aka proving that something is wonderful, and proving to your parents to go for the idea. I find it very difficult to believe that Dad and Mom never thought of electricity before, and that it took Bob to thwap them on the side of their head. But oh well, Bob girl friend (they aren't REALLY dating) just has everything! modern cow milkers to dishwashers! Bob has no electricity! Boo hoo on him!
Reviewer: cashel - - December 2, 2003
Subject: rural u.s.a.
A fine documentary told in b/w sound and using non-actors. Far from hollywood,and 50 years ago,this film is factual drama of the effects of bringing electricity to a farm .In many areas, electricity was not commonplace and its arrival received with gratitude and wonder ,
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